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JANUARY 1 2011 00:05h

Carolina fires head coach

Carolina fires head coach




CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The Carolina Panthers announced Friday Coach John Fox and his entire staff would be dismissed after Sunday's final regular-season game.

Fox has spent nine seasons with the Panthers and led them to the NFC title and a Super Bowl appearance seven years ago. Carolina won a division title the season before last, but went 8-8 last year and has the worst record in the NFL at 2-13 heading into Sunday's concluding game at Atlanta.

The Panthers are last in the league in points scored, total yards and passing yards. Carolina has managed only eight touchdown passes in 15 games this season.

"I appreciate the opportunity Mr. Richardson (team owner Jerry Richardson) gave me to be a head coach in the National Football League nine years ago and to be a part of this organization," Fox said.

"I have formed many close relationships and I have many great memories. I particularly want to thank the players for their efforts throughout the years. Working with so many great people has been a rewarding experience."

Fox, 55, is the third coach in the 16-year history of the franchise, having followed Dom Capers and George Seifert.

"I told John today that I appreciate everything he has done for us over the last nine years, but as happens in this business, it is time for both sides to move in different directions," Richardson said.

Fox will take a 73-70 regular-season record and a 78-73 overall mark into Sunday's game. Capers won 31 games as Carolina coach and Seifert won 16.